Existing and hopeful Wimmera producers are being encouraged to take the opportunity to participate in a Wimmera Southern Mallee food innovation program.
"Seeds of Growth" is a 12-week program, aimed at equipping participants with the skills needed to transform an idea into a revenue-generating business.
The Wimmera Development Association and Food Innovation Australia-lead initiative is hoping to help businesses commercialise new revenue streams and adopt new technology.
Wimmera Development Association project manager Vernetta Taylor said people would benefit from the program - due to start in February - regardless of their circumstance.
"Participants can be at different stages of their food production journey - that being an idea or already being a player in the industry wanting to escalate and expand," she said.
"Delivered virtually, the weekly workshops give participants a chance to hear from business people already working in the industry. It also means people can work together and strengthen relationships with other food producers in the Wimmera Southern Mallee.
"An e-learning platform is available for participants to drive their own learning, and weekly challenges will give participants an opportunity to put their learning into practice."
Participation fees for the program, delivered by innovation agency Beanstalk Ag, have been heavily subsidised through Food Innovation Australia, Wimmera Development Association and Wimmera Southern Mallee councils.
Participants are only required to pay a $100 fee, as opposed to the usual $4000 a place in the program is worth.
Mrs Taylor said businesses identified as being ready to take their idea to the next level would be offered one on-one mentorship for 12 weeks following the initial program.
"The Wimmera Southern Mallee is very diverse and we have a lot of untapped opportunity. We want to give producers in the region the support to take their ideas and their produce to the next level and showcase what the region has to offer," she said.
"The program will offer networking and support for those working, or wanting to work, in this area."
Mrs Taylor said Expressions of Interest would close on Friday, December 4, with participating businesses finalised in December. She said people wanting more information could contact her on 0419 114 274 or firstname.lastname@example.org